AFI Top 100 No. 74: The Silence of the Lambs


“Good evening, Clarice.”

It speaks volumes of acting and character development to make such a simple and polite greeting send chills down your spine. In my book, and in the agreement of the AFI, Hannibal Lecter is the creepiest character of all cinema. Anthony Hopkins was so perfect in his portrayal of the evil doctor. Dr. Lecter was brilliant, charismatic, and incredibly dangerous.

While many rate his escape as being one of the scariest moments in movie history, I don’t think it holds a candle to when Clarice Starling was in the pitch black basement of Buffalo Bill. She was so helpless and stuck in every woman’s worst nightmare. Jodie Foster was terrific as the naive, but determined cadet. Like Hopkins, her Oscar was much deserved.

It is easy to see why this is the only horror film to win Best Picture. It is a terrific storyline and the acting was stupendous. In fact, I am surprised at how low this film is on the list… I would have thought it would be top 50 at least.

Next Up: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

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